Ian "Marvin" Graye's Reviews > Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Drive by Daniel H. Pink
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it was amazing
bookshelves: cul-poli-phil-art, read-2013, reviews, reviews-5-stars

From the Fictive Desk of D.J. Ian:

The End is Much More Exciting than It Was Once Upon a Time

The story of GoodBetterBestReads has really only just begun, but we have already become the world’s largest community of potential readers, book buyers and Kindle users who have star-rated a book at least once in the last 12 months.

The problem is you can’t buy a condo or a beer off the back of potential alone. We need people to buy books, and to do that we need people who can sell books.

That’s where you come in.

If you were ever interested in reading, writing, reviewing, we want to speak to you. We want you on our team.

We could harness your skills and change your mind set for ever. We could help you exchange old passions for new.

Ever wanted to turn your passion into a career? Easy. We could help you transition from your love of books to a love of sales.

The Importance of Sales

Look at it this way. There are so many books available now, it would be a crime not to try to sell them.

There’s nothing we’ve got that we can’t sell. Without a little help from you.

We love books, but let’s face it, we love them even more when they’re at your place.

So we need you to find a home for every book we could possibly think of selling.

And guess what, we’re totally format-neutral. Tree books, we’ve got warehouses. E-books, we’ve got cyberspace. But to be honest, if we could shift more ebooks, our staff wouldn’t have to work in smelly warehouses. Think about it. Our staff come first.

The Next Chapter

Do you know what the biggest problem about a community is?

The 80/20 rule? Heard of that? It’s worse in cyberspace. Let us tell you. You won’t believe this. 99% of reviews on GoodBetterBestReads are written by less than one percent of the members.

Did you hear that? 99%! Let’s repeat it. 99%. Let’s repeat it. 99%.

Now, the thing is, we thought that by getting one percent to do all the writing, we could sell to the 100%.

We placed a lot of trust in the one percent. Can you see our dilemma? A lot of people’s welfare depended on the one percent.

What would happen to our cocktails and our cars and our condos, if the one percent staged a strike? Exactly, you know what we mean. You probably feel the same about your job. VULNERABLE!!! Let’s repeat it. VULNERABLE!!!

And You Thought You Knew What a Staff Review Was!

Let’s be totally honest with you. Our original business model was flawed. It was too highly dependent on community. There is only so long that the one percent will carry the 99%. And it’s not long. It’s unsustainable. Especially if your exit strategy is a sale to an online bookseller.

We suppose we could have encouraged the 99% to do more selling. But honest, what we really want them to do is more buying.

So, guess what, we decided to approach the problem a different way.

What if we could reduce our dependence on the one percent? What if less people, not more, could write all of the reviews?

So now we're going to get our staff to write the reviews. It's so brilliant, it's a wonder we didn't think of it earlier.

This is our opportunity to talk about you.

If you’re bright...If you’re talented...If you love books...If you love writing...If you love reviewing...don’t worry, it doesn’t matter.

We just need you to punch out reviews.

Our mission is to help people find and buy books they love. If that’s your kind of story, let’s do business.

Our goal: Two million staff reviews in three years!

Just think, you could write 30,000 of them!
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Reading Progress

October 12, 2013 – Shelved
October 12, 2013 – Shelved as: cul-poli-phil-art
October 12, 2013 – Shelved as: read-2013
October 12, 2013 – Shelved as: reviews
October 12, 2013 – Shelved as: reviews-5-stars
Started Reading
October 13, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-41 of 41 (41 new)

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message 1: by Traveller (last edited Oct 13, 2013 02:21PM) (new)

Traveller Hahaha, I recognize a lot of this off one of the Goodreads info pages. :)
Brilliantly assimilated.


message 2: by Manny (new)

Manny I do wonder what people are saying at GR. I'd be very surprised to find that everyone thinks the new censorship policy is a good thing.


message 3: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye How come this is the only company in the whole world that doesn't seem to leak big time? Surely somebody knows someone? Who has left since the big takeover? Aren't there any journalists in our midst?


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Reads & Reviews This one track minded commercialism of every bloody thing in life is getting me cranky. I remember the Internet when it was an exchange of ideas and information. Now it is largely an infomercial. Yuk. Sure, money makes the world go round, but sometimes its richer to be square. The only motivation behind this censorship business is business.


message 5: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye That's brilliantly said, Chance. But honestly, I wonder whether it's good for their business. Who else fights with their customers all the time? In public, scaring the shit out of everybody else. Anybody would think they were a monopoly. Um...


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Reads & Reviews The shame is that they are right. Only a few consumers will change their behavior. I've seen the ritual before--people whine, then settle down and adapt. Life goes on--downhill maybe, but on.


message 7: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye This is why at each crisis point I've approached them to try to make a deal that would be win-win for everybody. This time, nobody has come to the table.


message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Reads & Reviews Ian wrote: "This is why at each crisis point I've approached them to try to make a deal that would be win-win for everybody. This time, nobody has come to the table."

Amazon owns them now. They've gone over to the dark side.


message 9: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye I would do the same thing with amazon.


message 10: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye How many businesses with 20 million customers don't have a users' group?


message 11: by Lisa (last edited Oct 13, 2013 10:22PM) (new)

Lisa Reads & Reviews Ian wrote: "I would do the same thing with amazon."

I loved Amazon when they first launched. It seemed I could order a book at work, then go home and the book would be there waiting for me. I was hooked and made an addict and now they are so big, it would take hordes of people balking to make a blip on their radar.


message 12: by Carol. (new)

Carol. Your review reminded me almost instantly of Harriet Klausner (I may be misspelling) who reviewed every sci-fi or fantasy book I used tho look at on Barnes and Noble. Surprise, they were always 5 stars and often hers the only review. It became meaningless. Why don't the dolts realize repeat purchases came with satisfaction, and fake destroys credibility?


message 13: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Exactly, apart from the morality of it, it actually isn't good business.


message 14: by Alfaniel (new)

Alfaniel Aldavan Weird. I was sure I've "liked" this review a few days ago, but apparently the site doesn't know about it. And it's not a singular case.

Awesome review. The future is bright.


message 15: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Thanks, Alfaniel. It was fun to assemble.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) From Ian's review: "We need people to buy books, and to do that we need people who can sell books.

That’s where you come in.

If you were ever interested in reading, writing, reviewing, we want to speak to you. We want you on our team.

We could harness your skills and change your mind set for ever. We could help you exchange old passions for new.

Ever wanted to turn your passion into a career? Easy. We could help you transition from your love of books to a love of sales. "


Spot-on. Incidentally, did you see this? http://www.freelunch.me/


message 17: by Manny (new)

Manny This is horribly accurate. Nice work :)


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Carol. [Only Unicorns and Rainbows] wrote: "Your review reminded me almost instantly of Harriet Klausner (I may be misspelling) who reviewed every sci-fi or fantasy book I used tho look at on Barnes and Noble. Surprise, they were always 5 5 stars and often hers the only review. It became meaningless. Why don't the dolts realize repeat purchases came with satisfaction, and fake destroys credibility? "

HK was infamous at Amazon 10 years ago already for posting 50+ book reviews per day, virtually all of them 4 and 5 stars, and constantly getting major plot elements wrong -- as is bound to happen if you mass-produce reviews without actually having read the books in question. She's even got her own (sarcastic) "fan club," the Harriet Klausner Appreciation Society: http://harriet-rules.blogspot.de/ ; check out their website for a good laugh.

It took Amazon some 10+ years to change their ranking algorithm in a way that took away her No. 1 Reviewer spot ... but by the same token, the hodge podge changes to their reviewing system that they introduced at the time (in 2008) just ended up being an even bigger invitation to post masses of fake and bought reviews -- and they need to seriously get their act together in some time frame faster than 10 years and in a much better informed way than the jumbles they created in 2008 if they ever want to clean up their act, be taken seriously and, incidentally, avoid criminal prosecution:
http://aclweb.org/anthology/P/P11/P11...
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/tec...


message 19: by Lynne (last edited Oct 28, 2013 05:31AM) (new)

Lynne King When I read something such as you have written Ian, I feel so sad that so much "bitterness" appears to have pervaded Goodreads from reviewers. So I've left the 33 likes at 33. Normally I more than "like" all of your "reviews".

What is more important to you: the freedom of social networking and/or hearing about/buying good books?

I equate it to friendship, love and sex. You can have friendship with sex, and love with sex but how often do you get the three combined? That's a super combination. That's the way it is to me with books; well in my opinion anyway.


message 20: by Traveller (last edited Oct 28, 2013 08:02AM) (new)

Traveller Lynne wrote: "When I read something such as you have written Ian, I feel so sad that so much "bitterness" appears to have pervaded Goodreads from reviewers. So I've left the 33 likes at 33. Normally I more than ..."

We've always had social networking on Goodreads, Lynne. I think that is the most important part of Goodreads for me, because its easy to find just book reviews on the internet. But I want the opinion of friends that I trust, friends whose tastes I have come to know over time. But above all, I know I can trust many of my Goodreads friends' opinions about books.

So actually, for me, the social networking & finding out about the worth of a particular book goes hand in hand.

Also, Goodreads has been so so so much more than a repository of book reviews for me over the years.

Its been a place where I could share opinions and thoughts and knowledge and life's ups and downs with people of like mind--people who have become a valuable part of my life.

In fact, I'd probably not be motivated to read half of the books I do if it weren't for the wonderful community at Goodreads.

In the end, what is a book? It is someone's writing. No more or no less vibrant and giving than sharing with like minds. The nice part about a place like Goodreads though, is that the flow of thoughts is interactive--it goes both ways, whereas with books the flow is just one way.

...so bottom line is that I would find reading a much more lonely thing without a place like Goodreads where I can give and receive.


message 21: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King Traveller wrote: "Lynne wrote: "When I read something such as you have written Ian, I feel so sad that so much "bitterness" appears to have pervaded Goodreads from reviewers. So I've left the 33 likes at 33. Normall..."

Beautifully put Traveller. I have no problem with what you've written yourself. None whatsoever!


message 22: by Traveller (last edited Oct 28, 2013 08:12AM) (new)

Traveller And of course, you're also a part of it, Lynne! :) I do hope we'll be able to continue here on Goodreads as closely as possible to how we always have, in spite of some changes. I'm hoping, really hoping that those changes are just localized to certain issues, and that they won't spread. Here's touching wood.


message 23: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King Traveller wrote: "And of course, you're also a part of it, Lynne! :) I do hope we'll be able to continue here on Goodreads as closely as possible to how we always have, in spite of some changes. I'm hoping, really ..."

Thanks Traveller and I'm touching wood too!


message 24: by Cecily (new)

Cecily I agree with most of the comments above. For me, what I love about GR is the diversity of reviews and comments of books I am interested in, the connections and friendships made as a result, and the unexpected books they sometimes introduce me to.

Most of the nastiness seems to relate to critical (but not initially offensive) reviews of new, self-published books, which I rarely read, so have largely escaped.

I am torn as to what to do now. I know a lot of my GR friends are moving over to BookLikes and elsewhere, but I don't really want to leave here, and the idea of copying everything over is offputting. Watch this space, I guess.


message 25: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Cecily wrote: "I agree with most of the comments above. For me, what I love about GR is the diversity of reviews and comments of books I am interested in, the connections and friendships made as a result, and the..."

I really don't want people to leave... :( I wish Goodreads would stop their shenanigans now. There is unfortunately no equivalent to Goodreads as far as their site build is concerned.


message 26: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Titus I'd love to have a job reading books and writing reviews! Hire me!


message 27: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Titus I'd love to have a job reading books and writing reviews! Hire me!


message 28: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Titus I'd love to have a job reading books and writing reviews! Hire me!


message 29: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Lynne wrote: "When I read something such as you have written Ian, I feel so sad that so much "bitterness" appears to have pervaded Goodreads from reviewers."

Thanks, Lynne. I'm not sure either of us has a clue what the other is talking about. What do you think the review is implying about social networking?


message 30: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King Well Ian it appears to be one of those sad cases when neither understands the other....


message 31: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Lynne wrote: "Well Ian it appears to be one of those sad cases when neither understands the other...."

Well, if it matters to you, why don't you say what you think this review is implying about the value of community (i would prefer to use that term than social networking).


message 32: by Lynne (last edited Oct 29, 2013 09:26AM) (new)

Lynne King The value of the community is very important Ian but it all boils down to whether one has an affinity with other individuals or with a group. I lean towards the former. Some people are loners and some have to be part of the masses. They feel safer in that protection of solidarity.

So what do you mean exactly?


message 33: by Ian (last edited Oct 29, 2013 09:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye The review is an exercise in irony that suggests that GR management thinks they can operate the site without a sense of community.


message 34: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King Well obviously I missed the nuances of your particular form of irony. Perhaps it's a question of different literary lifestyles.

Do we need a sense of community as you don't wish to use the words social networking. I would go with the latter.

Irony can be viewed in many different ways depending on who it is targeted at.


message 35: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Within the idea of community I include the standards of civility that permit the free exchange of wildly different ideas and opinions. I am not referring to the enforcement of middle of the road views on individuals or smaller groups.


message 36: by Arnie (last edited Oct 29, 2013 09:36PM) (new) - added it

Arnie Traveller wrote: "Lynne wrote: "When I read something such as you have written Ian, I feel so sad that so much "bitterness" appears to have pervaded Goodreads from reviewers. So I've left the 33 likes at 33. Normall..."

Despite the hub bub does anyone know of a review that was deleted? Any wrongfully deleted?


message 37: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Arnie wrote: "Traveller wrote: "Lynne wrote: "When I read something such as you have written Ian, I feel so sad that so much "bitterness" appears to have pervaded Goodreads from reviewers. So I've left the 33 li..."

Well, there have been a few, yes. Off-topic reviews and a review that mentioned that the book had previously been fanfic. But some of those reviews have now been restored with apologies by staff: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 38: by Carol. (new)

Carol. Yes. Lots. If you check out the links where various people have complied resources, you can find it (specifically, Ceridwen did a lot of research into the first 21 deleted). Ames compiled a piece on it with links to many sources and copies of GR emails: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/...

It would probably be more fair if one is acquainted with the extent of the issue before chastising Ian's parody.


message 40: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Sun #funnybecauseitstrue


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